HIIT versus LIIT — Which is More Effective?
When making exercise a part of your daily routine, it's essential to experiment with the type of physical activity that is best for you and your overall wellbeing. Interval training is a popular style of workout that has a variety of adaptations for all exercise methods. High-Intensity Interval Training and Low-Intensity Interval Training are two aspects of the training method that can help you stay active, burn fat, and improve your physical health. Dr. Justin Lewis of Get Adjusted Chiropractic breaks down the difference between the two types of exercise with chiropractic care recommendations!
What is High-Intensity Interval Training?
High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a method of exercise that combines short bursts of all-out energy coupled with a rest period. HIIT is characterized by "on and off" cycles, repeating 20 to 45 seconds of intense exercise with 10 to 20 seconds of rest. "The objective of a HIIT workout is to elevate your heart rate and sweat," explains Dr. Justin Lewis. "You want to build up as much energy as possible with maximum effort to drive your body to work harder." Cardio exercises, like running, cycling, or rowing, are almost always considered HIIT workouts.
"HIIT workouts are key to helping burn fat and calorie reduction," states Dr. Justin Lewis. "When a person does a HIIT workout, their intention tends to line up with this goal. People who gravitate towards HIIT exercises usually want to burn fat, burn calories, and improve agility."
What is Low-Intensity Interval Training?
Low-Intensity Interval Training, or LIIT, is based on the same concept as HIIT. The premise is essentially the same — you are working in short bursts to increase your heart rate, before resting. However, the higher-intensity periods of exercise are not as aggressive as during a HIIT workout. "LIIT is a phenomenal way to keep your body in shape and maintain gains," says Dr. Justin Lewis. "It's important to vary your workouts to enhance your body's overall function and performance." For a LIIT exercise program, you increase your heart rate and slow it back down like a HIIT workout. The main difference is that your heart rate will never enter the "high cardio zone," instead, the intention is to enter the high-end of your cardiac fat-burning zone or the low-end of your cardio zone throughout your workout.
A LIIT exercise is a good fit for those looking to maintain your health while avoiding injuries. A HIIT workout might burn more calories over a shorter period, but a LIIT workout can still provide the same level of effectiveness if you extend your workout by 15 to 20 minutes. "You want to focus on posture, mobility, and the quality of the stretch. It's not about how fast the workout is and the quantity of movement, the key is the quality of the motion," explains Dr. Justin Lewis. "It is essential to control your spinal alignment, so you strengthen the correct muscles and not overcompensate with the wrong muscle groups."
Which is More Effective?
Both HIIT and LIIT workouts provide similar benefits and are a great option when exploring new exercise routines. A HIIT workout is shorter, but more intense — burning calories and fat over a shorter time. LIIT exercises can burn the same amount; however, the exercise programs are longer by design. Endurance fitness, over time, can be a great way to improve health and wellness. Whether you select high or low-intensity interval training, you will soon see the benefits of incorporating exercise into your routine! If you are looking to build muscle or only have a few minutes a day to work out, a HIIT workout might be your answer! On the other hand, lower intensity interval training reduces the risk of exercise-based injury.
"Before working out, it's essential to figure out your intention. Are you looking to lose weight, are you looking to improve endurance, or are you trying to enhance functionality and mobility?" says Dr. Justin Lewis. "You just need to hone in on your goals and plan your interval training accordingly — just make sure whatever you do, you want to sweat!"
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